MILWAUKEE -- Doug Davis has a clean bill of health after an EKG scan earlier this week and is targeting June 29 to return to the Brewers' starting rotation.Davis went on the disabled list last month with pericarditis, an acute inflammation of the lining around the heart. He was given clearance to increase his physical activity during a doctor's visit on Monday, then threw a bullpen session Tuesday and another Thursday morning, before the Brewers played the finale of their three-game series against the Cubs. Assuming no setbacks, Davis said he would throw a simulated game on Tuesday in Anaheim. Then the plan calls for him to make rehab starts for Triple-A Nashville on Saturday, June 19, and Thursday, June 24. That would put him on track to rejoin the Brewers for their June 29 game against the Astros at Miller Park. The entire plan, of course, is subject to change based on Davis' health. But at least a plan is in place. "I feel great about it," Davis said.
Riske makes seamless return after surgery
MILWAUKEE -- After finishing one inning of work on Wednesday, his first Major League outing since having Tommy John surgery a year ago, David Riske paused to look at his hat.
On the inside, he had written the names of all three of his children -- two sons and a daughter -- and his wife.
"It was touching, I wanted to stand out there and just look around more, because you don't know if you're going to be back," Riske said. "It was just really exciting. I know my wife and kids were watching, so it's a little message to them.
"I couldn't do it without them."
When Riske returned to the mound for the Brewers on Wednesday, 14 months removed from his last appearance for the club, he finally looked like the pitcher the Brewers were expecting when they acquired him after the 2007 season.
According to Riske, it was the first time he had pitched without pain in a Brewers uniform.
"It felt great; it's been a long road for me," Riske said. "It just feels good to be able to throw a baseball without pain. ... To just be able to go out there and do it, it's a great feeling."
Manager Ken Macha first saw Riske pitch extensively during Spring Training in 2009, and at that time, the right-handed reliever was limited due to bone spurs and ligament damage in his elbow.
Because he can finally throw without pain, Riske has regained the use of his best pitch, the split-finger fastball.
"That's how I used to throw my splits," Riske said. "Before, I couldn't get my elbow extended very much because I had those spurs and my ligament and all this stuff and I couldn't really get my arm to extend.
"I feel like I got a new elbow, really."
Riske's last Major League appearance before Wednesday was on April 9, 2009, when he gave up two runs on four hits in an inning of work against the Giants.
It was a long road back for Riske, but he said he was motivated to pitch again for his children.
"It's very humbling, the whole process," Riske said. "Obviously, I wanted to get back here to help the team as much as I can, but also so my kids can see me back out on the mound, because you never know with major surgeries, you could be done."
Edmonds bumped up to leadoff for Crew
MILWAUKEE -- Does it seem like the Brewers have used an unusually high number of lineups lately? Well, it's nothing compared to the Baltimore Orioles.
With 54 different lineups on the season through 59 games entering Thursday, the Orioles lead the Majors with the greatest number of variations in the batting order. Baltimore's most common lineup has been used just three times in 2010.
The Orioles are one of five teams in the big leagues to use 50 or more lineups this season. San Diego and Cleveland rank second with 52 lineups, while the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox -- with 50 each -- round out the list of teams over the 50-lineup mark.
The Brewers, on the other hand, have used 43 lineups, which is the ninth most in the National League and ranks 17th in the Majors. Milwaukee's most common lineup has been used six times.
With veteran center fielder Jim Edmonds batting leadoff on Thursday, the Brewers added another lineup to the list.
"I was trying to get a way to continue to have Prince [Fielder] third and to have my left-handed, right-handed split up," manager Ken Macha said of the move Thursday. "We had about 1,000 guys on base yesterday. So, the opportunities were there to score. ... Can't look at that and say that's not working just yet."
Edmonds had started 22 games in his career as the leadoff hitter entering Thursday, all during his time with the Angels. The last time Edmonds did so was Aug. 3, 1999.
In 99 career at-bats as the leadoff hitter, Edmonds owns a .323 batting average -- his highest of any spot in the batting order -- and a .925 OPS with five home runs and 12 RBIs.
Braun scuffling but says he's healthy
MILWAUKEE -- Ryan Braun's relatively cold streak coincides perfectly with the May 10 pitch from Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson that struck Braun in the left elbow. But Braun insisted Thursday morning that his elbow was "not a problem at all."Braun missed a few games after Hanson's wayward pitch and returned to Milwaukee's lineup on May 14. From that game through Wednesday's 9-4 loss to the Cubs, when Braun went 0-for-3 but drove in two runs, Braun batted .245 in 25 games with two home runs, eight RBIs, five walks and 16 strikeouts. Compare that output to what Braun did before the hit by pitch: in 32 games, he batted .359 with six homers, 28 RBIs and 18 walks vs. 18 strikeouts. He took some particularly defensive swings on Wednesday night against Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano. "After one of the at-bats, I said, 'Is this guy tough to pick up?'" Brewers manager Ken Macha said. "He said, 'Right now, I'm not really picking the ball up real well, and it doesn't matter who's out there.' When does that turn the corner? I don't know. We just had a day off on Monday. Does he need a couple extra days off? He would probably let me know that."
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ken Macha sat down Thursday morning with struggling left-hander Randy Wolf, who was vocal about his frustration after allowing five home runs in a loss to the Cubs on Wednesday. Wolf's delivery is not dramatically different than last year, when he posted 24 quality starts for the Dodgers, so Macha suggested that Wolf may have to vary his pitch selection to get back on track. ... Macha wanted to give Corey Hart a well-deserved day off Thursday and start Joe Inglett in right field, but Inglett told the team's medical staffers that he still needs more time to recover from a left ankle injury. Inglett has not been right since he was hurt sliding into home plate in a May 22 game against the Twins. No one expected the injury to linger this long. ... Brewers scout Jay Lapp was named the Jim Ridley Award winner by the Canadian Baseball Network. Lapp is the scout who recommended the Brewers sign right-hander John Axford after a workout before the 2008 season, and Axford is Milwaukee's closer at the moment. ... Fourteenth-round Draft pick Mike Walker, a third baseman from the University of the Pacific, is the highest selection so far to sign with the Brewers. The school posted a picture online of Walker signing his contract with Brewers scout Justin McCray.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com and Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.